Recently, Windows Central did extensive coverage of the new Razer Phone, which is powered by Android and built for gamers. Razer invited us – and other non-Android sites – to be prebriefed on the phone, which is why we had so much detailed and an in-depth, hands-on coverage.
The big Razer Phone article is our No. 2 story for the last 30 hours despite the fact that we have run nearly 100 articles between Wednesday and now. That should tell you something about interest in this device and our decision to cover it.
Nonetheless, there was some vocal pushback from our core audience. Are we going to start covering every Android phone now? Why is this article even here? How dare you … people come here for Windows news, not Android phones!
As the executive editor, I feel it's only appropriate to address these concerns even if they are in the minority (many in the YouTube comments understood the decision). As I consider myself a Windows phone fan, I understand the disagreement with our choice. It's only fair I address these concerns.
Will we cover every Android phone?
Short answer: no.
Longer answer: Our focus is Microsoft, Windows, and the larger ecosystem that connects it all. That extends to iOS and Android, as Microsoft has a lot of software that runs on those phones that is of interest to our readers.
That makes those phones fair game for our audience who, at this point, are overwhelmingly likely to own one of those devices over a Windows phone.
Despite that, we do not have the time, resources, nor desire to cover all, most or even many Android phones. We will, however, do articles where we think there is interest and cover high-profile devices where warranted.
And, yes, I will be reviewing the Razer Phone. No, we are not paid by, sponsored, or receive any compensation from Razer. We're just fans.
Why Razer Phone?
There are a few reasons why we decided to cover the Razer Phone announcement so extensively. Here it goes:
- Microsoft is selling the Razer Phone through its online and physical stores. We go where Microsoft goes.
- Razer is one of the most popular makers of Windows PC gaming hardware. We have and will continue to review all its products because it is a well-known brand to our core audience.
- We cover gaming for PC, Xbox, and where we can, mobile. Mobile gaming is increasingly one of the fastest growing areas and – with Microsoft's Mixer broadcasting service on Android – eSports is on the rise too including for mobile.
- The Razer Phone is nearly a pure Android experience with an unlockable bootloader. That makes it appealing to those who – like us – want to load it up with Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Launcher, Cortana, Outlook, Xbox app, Authenticator, and Microsoft Office, and set many of those as defaults.
We don't publish articles every day asking if every story will be of interest to all readers. And the vocal one percent is just that – the one percent. While I will always engage with our core audience in comments and listen to their concerns, advice, and learn from them, that doesn't mean our site direction is going to be dictated by them.
Despite what people have assumed, our site is very healthy for traffic, revenue, and growth. Anyone can look up our traffic on Alexa or Quantcast. We're doing so well because three years ago we shifted away from Windows phone to all Microsoft and Windows products. We now have 14 writers, and we'll continue to expand and thrive. This move was not one of desperation but of our ability to cover even more.
Windows phone users need alternatives
I respect and understand those who wish to remain on Windows 10 Mobile and stick to their Lumia 950, HP Elite x3, or Alcatel Idols 4S. There is nothing wrong with that. We will continue to cover those phones, the OS, and any relevant news, such as the HP Elite x3 now on Verizon.
However, many Windows phone users are looking to switch to another platform. As Windows 10 Mobile owners we are in a unique position to share our experiences with alternative hardware and OSes.
Many of the editors and writers here agreed that the Razer Phone was appealing to them. For those looking to jump to Android, Razer Phone could be on your short list. With Windows 10 Mobile on maintenance mode indefinitely, we owe it to our readers to not only follow where they are going but help guide them there – after all, we are in the same position and looking for new smartphones ourselves.
And for those focusing on our site name and suggesting we should change it, I'll let you in on a secret: Site names don't mean anything. It's the quality and consistency of the content that matters.
Windows Central loves technology
Finally, we are all here because of our interest in technology. It surrounds us, is part of our everyday lives, and 2017 is one of the most exciting years ever for tech lovers. From mixed reality to PCs that run on ARM processors, 4K gaming on a console, Microsoft software nearly everywhere, and yes, powerful smartphones, it's a great time to be in this business.
Picking sides between Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon may be fun in comments, but in the real-world, most people are not nearly as partisan. Each company has its good and bad sides. We're here to help you understand it and get the most from it. If that means covering an Android phone from a favorite gaming PC company that Microsoft is selling, that is where we'll go too.
And if all that bothers you, I'm not offended. Feel free to skip over articles that are of no interest; it's perfectly fine. It's just a phone, after all.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.